At the end of August Ljubljana will host the best recreational cyclists in the world. Between 28th and 31st August 2014 Slovenia will host the 2014 UWCT Amateur Road World Championships (UWCT Final Ljubljana 2014). The event organiser, cycling society KD Rog, supported by the BTC Company, the City Municipality of Ljubljana, the Slovenian Cycling Federation and the newspaper Delo, is currently busy with the final preparations for the event, which will make Ljubljana an even more prominent and important sports destination.
The World championship will see the participation of the best male and female cyclists of different age groups (9 men’s and 8 women’s categories), who qualified for the championship at 10 qualifying events. We estimate that 1500 competitors from 43 countries will take part in the event, among them even one female and 13 male cyclists over the age of 70. Apart from cyclists from countries with a rich cycling tradition, cyclists from Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and some other exotic countries are going to participate.
The Championship will start with the time trial event on Thursday, 28th August, followed by the opening ceremony and the team relay event on Friday, 29th August. Sunday, 31st August, will be the highlight of the World championship, with the short and long distance events, the start and the finish of which will be in BTC City Ljubljana.
The course will take on the same route as the already well-established and renowned Marathon Franja BTC City. The organiser of the championship, KD Rog, supported by the BTC Company, the City Municipality of Ljubljana, the Slovenian Cycling Federation and the newspaper Delo, will offer the competitors a few novelties. One of them is the team relay event, which will take place on Friday, 29th August, starting and finishing at the Kongresni trg square in Ljubljana.
The UCI decided to send a distinguished representative to the World championships in Ljubljana, namely the Italian Renato Di Rocco, who was in the past the Secretary of the Professional Cycling League, the General director of the Italian National Olympics Committee and the president of the Italian Cycling Federation. Over the last few years he was also vice-president of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).
Last September Ljubljana was in basketball frenzy due to the European basketball championship. This year we will see the same enthusiasm for sports already at the end of August, this time thanks to cycling. The decision of UCI to award Slovenia the World Championship resulted from the magnificent organisation of the Marathon Franja BTC City, which is known as one of the biggest recreational cycling events in Slovenia. The UCI recognized all the efforts of the organisers of the Marathon Franja and consequently awarded Slovenia the organisation of an event that will bring the cream of the crop of amateur cycling to Ljubljana. For Ljubljana the event also represents an important stone in the mosaic of building recognisability within the international sports community.
Tomaž Grm, President of the Slovenian Cycling Federation, said during the preparations for this event: “The organisation of the World cycling championship is a big challenge, set before us as a result of our past relentless efforts to contribute to the development of cycling in Slovenia. I believe that such events help write a new chapter in the story of Slovene cycling and also strengthen the popularity of this beautiful sport among recreational cyclists. I am especially pleased to have the support of our partners, particularly the City Municipality of Ljubljana and the BTC Company.”
Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City Municipality of Ljubljana, added: “The organisation of such an event in Slovenia is a great honour and recognition for the organiser for its extraordinary hard work, efforts and commitment put into the organisation of the Marathon Franja each year. Ljubljana is really becoming a cyclist-friendly city, since a growing number of people of Ljubljana go about their daily errands by bicycles. Our efforts in the field of cycling have not gone unnoticed even abroad, since Ljubljana has become the first city ever to receive the “European Week of Mobility” award for the second time, while the city is also a proud recipient of the title “European Green Capital 2016”. The upcoming World championship is another proof of the exceptional cycling energy, which is currently surpassing all borders and limits in Slovenia”.
Jože Mermal, President of the Honorary Committee of UWCT Final 2014 and President of the BTC Management Board, said: “We take great pride in preparing for the day when the race for the rainbow jersey will, for the first time ever, take place in Slovenia and when our capital will be filled with positive cycling energy and frenzy. Currently, we already have more than 1400 cyclists registered for the race, which, with the accompanying teams, amounts to roughly 2500 participants total. The World championship is also important for Ljubljana with regard to the economy and tourism, since during the championship Ljubljana will have at least 12500 additional overnight stays. We are thrilled to see the established course of the Marathon Franja BTC City, one of the biggest recreational cycling events in Slovenia, being attractive enough to host the World championship races. I am positive that the rainbow energy of the event will spread also across other parts of Slovenia and the world, not only thanks to the cyclists, but also to the event partners, visitors, fans and all other cycling enthusiasts.”
Further information about the programme can be found on the website of the UCI World Cycling Tour: http://uwct-en.franja.org/home.html
Maja Oven, Director of the Market Communications and Public Relations Sector
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